by Nancy Stiles
Lafayette Square is one of the most historic neighborhoods in St. Louis, but developers Chris Goodson and Jeff Randol still thought something was missing. Goodson, a lifelong St. Louisan, has enjoyed seeing the area spring back to life in recent years and wanted to contribute to the momentum. His solution?
"Bring local farmers to a food desert and keep the area in the revival. People will leave if you don't keep it going," Goodson says.
In three short months, Goodson and Randol will open Fields Foods, a grocery store whose food and produce are all sourced from within 100 miles of St. Louis.
Goodson has been a developer in the area for years, with projects including City Hospital, the Georgian, the Palladium, the Power Plant and more. Goodson knew the next step should be a grocery -- he reasoned it can be supported by the neighborhood and draw traffic from interstates 44 and 55.
The new, 37,000-square-foot grocery will add at least 100 jobs to the area and will be the only full-service grocery for Lafayette Square within a two-mile radius. In addition to the freshest meat, seafood and produce available, the shop will also have large selections of organic products, a prepared-food section and even a bar. Possibly the best part about Fields Foods is that you can go in, hand over your shopping list to an employee, then kick back with a beer or a glass of wine. The workers will gather all your stuff for you.
"The grocery in the front promotes local, healthy food, and the back is the distribution center. We take that food and go out to school districts, nonprofits and partner lunch programs," Goodson explains. "We have traditional items, too, but we want to focus on local."
Fields Foods plans to open January 4 and will be open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.